West Seattle, Washington
Friends and relatives are remembering Olga (Mitchell) McEwing, and wanted to share this with the community:
A long-time West Seattle resident, Olga McEwing died peacefully following a short illness on March 10, 2016, at age 96.
Olga was born on February 7, 1920. She emigrated to the United States from England with her parents Joshua and Ellen, and a younger brother, John, in 1927. She was a very generous person and cared a lot for others. She enjoyed music, gardening, and liked making the best pumpkin pies.
She was preceded in death by her husband James McEwing, 1919-1978.
Olga will be missed by The Kenney residents, the Schau and Matalone families, as well as many others, and will remain in our hearts forever.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
West Seattle High School senior Gabby Carufel is trying to raise money for underfunded special education via her senior project – and the big fundraiser this Friday night still has room for more participants – a Parents’ Night Out. Gabby is raising money for audio books for WSHS students with learning disabilities:
West Seattle HS students are hosting a Parents’ Night Out fundraiser to buy audio books and playaways for learning-disabled students at the school.
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT – child sitting
WSHS students will watch and have fun with your kids so the parents can go out and have fun too!
Friday, March 11th, 5:30-10 pm
For ages 3-11 (child must be potty-trained)
Cost: $20 includes, pizza, drink, snacks, crafts, movie and games.
RSVP to Gabby at email@example.com
Many sitters are CPR trained
Check in at the West Seattle High School Commons/ lunch room
Please tell your friends. Our goal is to raise enough funds to buy at least one audio version of each required reading for the English classes. Thank you for supporting WSHS.
If you can’t or don’t want to take part in the event but want to support this project, contact Gabby via that same e-mail address.
One more “happening today” – third day of this year’s Girl Scout Cookie sales. This might be the only “cookie booth” of this type in our area:
The photo is from Lisa, who explains:
West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court Princess Stephanie and her Girl Scout Troop 42553 will be having a Girl Scout Cookie Drive-Thru at the Les Schwab Tire Center (3801 SW Alaska) from 11 am-3 pm. You don’t even have to get out of your car! We accept all major credit cards, cash, and checks!
Looking for someplace closer? The locations closest to zip code 98106 are here; 98116, here; 98126, here; 98136, here; 98146, here. This year’s seven cookie varieties are shown here. Sales continue through March 20th (two weeks from today).
Received this week from a reader in Fauntleroy:
We shine a green light on our porch for a loved one that is serving overseas.
We miss him very much. This is the longest war that our country has ever bee in. I hope that our neighbors are aware of why we have this special color on our front porch, not for marijuana awareness, and not left over from Christmas, it is for the son of West Seattle that is overseas. I see some other green lights in the community and reassure my wife that we are not the only ones. This green Led bulb is more noticiable than the Olde Yellow Ribbon. Thought that you should know… Sleepless in West Seattle.
From Troop 45172, our photo features Elizabeth, Addison, and Melissa, at the Girl Scouts‘ cookie “booth” outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction late today. Theirs is one of many troops selling cookies around West Seattle (not to mention the rest of the region) starting tonight and continuing for two-plus weeks, through Sunday, March 20th. Here are the seven varieties on sale this year, $4 per box; here’s the lookup tool to find where and when local Scouts are selling cookies (or use the individual zip-code links in our preview from earlier this week). Sales tonight go until 8 pm.
Candice Lastimado from Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral won the National Grocers Association’s “Best Bagger” title tonight – three years after another employee from the store, Andrew Borracchini, took the title. Here’s the announcement we just received:
West Seattle Courtesy Clerk Candice Lastimado Wins 2016 National “Best Bagger” Championship
Metropolitan Market Employee Takes Home $10,000 Prize
Candice Lastimado, an employee at the West Seattle Metropolitan Market, captured the championship trophy and a check for $10,000 in heated competition at the 30th Annual National Best Bagger Battle held tonight in Las Vegas, NV.
The 2016 national competition, sponsored by the National Grocers Association (NGA), drew contestants from 25 states. Contestants from Washington have won the NGA National Best Bagger championship in three of the last four years.
“Candice did an outstanding job in competition,” said Jan Gee, Washington Food Industry Association President and CEO. “Candice showed amazing poise and just got the job done in the face of stiff competition.”
Candice won the state title four months ago, setting up the trip to tonight’s finals. We hope to find out more tomorrow.
Know someone – and/or someplace – that does such a great job, you would love to see them be recognized for it?
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Westside Awards might be the way to do it. It’s now nomination time, per the announcement from Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis:
Each year the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce requests businesses and residents of the West Seattle community to nominate:
Westside Business of the Year
Westside Emerging Business of the Year
Westside Not-for-Profit of the Year
Westsider of the Year
Nominations and comments are submitted to the selection committee. We thank everyone for taking the time to tell us why a business or individual should be considered for this award. Yes, you can nominate yourself or your business and the number of votes is not the criteria for winning. It is the nominee that best qualifies.
A memorial gathering for Lorraine Mary DeTonancour Hope is planned on February 27th. Here’s the remembrance that her family is sharing:
Our beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandma and great grandma passed away peacefully at home on February 4th at the age of 87. She is survived by her daughter Judy Maus-Carson (Matt), sons Robert Hope (Lori) and Curtis Hope (Stephanie) and by 7 grandchildren (Jessica & Jon, Andy & Katey, and Kim, Kelli, & Christopher) and 7 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Norman Hope.
Lorraine grew up in Montana, where she was the belle of the ball – Anaconda High’s cheer queen, a softball player, and a National Thespian. After moving to Seattle with her best friend, she met and married the love of her life. “No and Lo” settled in Alki/West Seattle, where they raised their family and remained the rest of their lives.
Mom/Grandma/Lorraine went through life at full speed – she loved singing & dancing, entertaining & cooking, vacationing & sun-tanning, gambling, playing cards & bingo, spoiling her kids & grandkids, cheering for her sports teams, reading & making up words, painting & beach walking… She was happiest when loving on and laughing with family and friends and was fortunate to live much of her life that way.
A short service and reception will be held at Salty’s on Alki on Saturday, February 27th, at 11 am.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Girl Scout Cookie season is approaching, and two West Seattle Junior Girl Scouts from Troop 44282 have a head start. Above, L-R, are Eloise and Anya; Eloise’s proud mom Sybil shares the photo and explains why:
(They) submitted essays (written essay for Anya, video essay for Eloise) to a contest hosted by Molly Moon’s ice cream parlor. The “Cookies to Camp” contest asked the question “Why do you want to go to Girl Scout Camp for the first time?” and had a short list of criteria the girls had to meet, such as never having been to a Girl Scout camp before and living in Western Washington.
I’m excited to report that both Anya and Eloise won! Their essays were two of six selected out of 165 entries. Molly Moon’s will purchase over 1,100 boxes of Thin Mints from each winner, which will pay for a week away at Girl Scout camp. The Thin Mints are for Molly Moon’s ‘Scout Mint’ flavor.
The Thin Mints are separate from the girls’ individual and troop sales, so Anya and Eloise will still be out in the community selling their Girl Scout cookies to fund other adventures!
P.S. In case this gets you wondering about cookie-selling season – the community “booths” start March 4th.
A celebration-of-life gathering is planned next month for longtime West Seattleite Amelia “Amy” Beard Walker. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Amy went to her rest on February 1, 2016, at Highline Medical Center, at the age of 90.
Born on November 23, 1925, to Charles Grosvenor and Elizabeth Cooper Beard, in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee, she married Thomas L. Walker Jr. in 1943, sharing life for 69 years, until his passing in 2012. They lived throughout the United States, wherever his career in aircraft and missile engineering took them. She worked in various public school systems, and completed her working career as the Director of Administrative Services and Assistant to the Executive Director, Goodwill Industries of Seattle.
Amy was active in the West Side Wheelers square dance club, the West Seattle Garden Club, Washington Arboretum, West Seattle Rock and Gem Club, and was a Member/Secretary for Toastmasters of West Seattle. She served on the Executive Board of the West Seattle Daystar Retirement Village and was a Daystar Ambassador, welcoming and assisting new residents. An active member of her church, she served as a reader for the 14th Church of Christ Scientist of West Seattle. She led a pro-active life, touching the lives of so many others in a positive, lasting way.
Amy is survived by her children; Carolyn Gabrio (Bob), Eileen Meling (Lee), Thomas Walker III (Toni), and Lawrence Walker (Rosario); seven grandchildren; Kristin Pottsmith (Chuck), Janice Belding, Jacqueline Walker, Marcella Bolen (Dan), Brian Walker (Andrea), Leah Walker, and Jamison Walker, and five great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held by her family at Daystar Retirement Village, 2615 SW Barton Street, on March 26th, 2:00 pm; after which a private family scattering of ashes will be conducted. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite Veterans’ charity.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Family and friends will gather later this week in memory of Kay Messina, and are sharing this remembrance now:
Free from the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease, Kay’s spirit is free to soar again.
Born to Leo “Skipper” and Helen Kelly, Katherine Margaret “Kay” was raised as one of seven brothers and sisters in Anaconda, MT. After college, Kay moved to the big city (Seattle) to work as a medical records administrator. There she met the love of her life, Ben Messina. They married in 1963 and had three boys, Michael, Tony, and Mateo.
For the next 53 years, Kay loved, laughed, and sang her way through raising a family, pursuing a career, building lasting friendships, and generally demonstrating how a life well-lived should be. Together with Ben she enjoyed plays, dinners, friends, glasses of wine, and traveling far and wide. Their journeys included exploring their roots in Ireland and Italy, and making trips home to Montana for the annual family gatherings that continue to this day.
Kay raised her boys with love, grace, and good humor. She showed them the power of love in the devotion she and Ben shared, as well as the value of community in the friendships they made, and their 50-year membership with Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. In her career, she worked with health-care facilities around the region, including a long association with Mt. St. Vincent, where she spent her final days in their care.
Kay was fortunate to have married an engineer. As Alzheimer’s progressed, Ben was able to continually develop solutions that would allow to her to remain at home for much longer than most. For that, we are forever grateful. In addition to her family and friends’ memories of her twinkling Irish eyes, Kay leaves behind Ben, her beloved husband of 53 years; sons Michael (Yvette), Tony (Dawn), and Mateo (Tammy); and eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Mt. St. Vincent or Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. An evening vigil will be held Thursday 2/11/16 at 7:00, and a funeral mass on Friday 2/12/16 at 11:00, both at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Please visit www.emmickfunerals.com to share your memories of Kay.
You might have missed the chance this past Thursday night to hear an extraordinary West Seattleite tell her story.
Seattle’s first-ever Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, headlined the quarterly Community Conversation gathering at Southwest Youth and Family Services in North Delridge. As SWYFS’s executive director Steve Daschle explained in the introduction, much of the nonprofit’s work is with immigrants and refugees, “helping them access resources and support to be successful, (with) a fabulous staff of advocates who come from the communities they’re serving.”
Take some time and listen to Castro Luna’s story of “An Immigrant’s Journey,” which we recorded on video. She arrived in the US from El Salvador in 1981, as her family fled civil war “that really destroyed the country … nobody was safe in El Salvador.” She landed in Miami on a Saturday morning, and started 10th grade there the following Monday, though she spoke no English then. What ensued was “a long journey to the place where I wanted to be,” including multiple careers. “Through the writing, I’ve come to understand my own story,” she told those who gathered to listen after complimentary dinner served by SWYFS. They also heard from members of Cambodian, Somali, and Mexican families assisted by SWYFS, which offers multiple volunteer opportunities.
Saturday, a gathering is planned to remember 21-year-old Chad Crooks. This is from his family:
Laura and Todd, along with Corey, Macey, and Grady Crooks, write this to share some profoundly sad news with those that have not yet heard. In the early morning hours of Thursday, 21st our sweet, brilliant, gentle giant, Chad Crooks lost his battle with mental illness and with that, we lost him. At 21, he was our oldest son and brother and a blessing to everyone that met him along his path. With everyone around us, we grieve and love and, in time, we will heal.
Even through his recent struggles, Chad remained gentle and kind, but in the end, made a choice to control his destiny. Chad battled a disease that threatened to offer little hope of using his gifts, making them just beyond his grasp. His brilliance was a gift that he hoped would advance the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of our existence and lives on Earth and elsewhere. Our loss is the world’s loss.
This mental health tragedy is not unique to the Crooks family. It is a devastating, cruel affliction that destroys beauty. Like cancer or heart disease, schizophrenia and other types of mental illness have the same impact, often killing with an invisible hand.
A service will be held at our Admiral UCC Church here in West Seattle on February 6th at 2PM with stories, love and refreshments following. The Admiral United Congregational Church of West Seattle is located at 4320 SW Hill Street. Donations designated in Chad’s honor will be gratefully accepted to aid research in the field of schizophrenia and depression, with details available at the Saturday service.
(UPDATED 8:01 PM with information about 2011 personal-expenses benefit)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Puget Sound Susan G. Komen Foundation says it is confident that all the money raised for its breast-cancer-fighting efforts in the name of West Seattleite Tracy Dart and her local associates went to the foundation.
We inquired with Komen today after receiving numerous inquiries over the weekend about this report by the West Seattle Herald quoting an unidentified source as saying Dart may have fabricated some part or all of her reported three-time, seven-plus-year cancer fight.
Senior public-relations manager Christi Ball Loso told WSB via e-mail:
Komen was notified of the situation last week and has been in contact with Tracy’s family. We have not been contacted by law enforcement.
Our records show that Tracy personally raised $28,541 for Komen starting in 2006, and that her Seattle and California teams raised more than $414,000 since 2006. This money has been used as intended – for Komen’s research and community health programs. And, we can assure the community that Tracy did not receive any funds from Komen. The organizations that receive Komen funding go through significant vetting to assess their program impact.
The biggest question people asked us: Is the fabrication allegation true?
As we told those who contacted us in various messaging channels this weekend, that question so far has not been answered on the record by anyone. But today, the Komen Foundation discussed the fundraising questions on the record.
A celebration of life is planned on February 13th for Gary Elliott, whose family is sharing this remembrance:
Gary “G-Man” Lee Elliott, 54, of West Seattle, passed away unexpectedly and much too young, Saturday, January 16, 2016 at his vacation home in Sunset Beach, CA.
Gary is survived by his wife and best friend of 37 years, Camille, daughter Tanya Gardiner, son Terry Elliott, son-in-law Hamilton Gardiner, sister Dee Strecker, brother Steve Elliott, mother/father in-law Jean and Don Duncan, and many loving nephews, nieces and extended family. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Willis and Marie Elliott, and brother, Kevin Elliott. Gary was a loving father, husband, and best friend to all he met.
Gary provided inspirational adventures while working to check items off his bucket list: captaining his Chris Craft yacht, retro motor home trips, leading the Tahuya Parade with his fire truck, riding his Harley at Sturgis, homes at Sunset Beach, Hood Canal and Lake Washington, owning a tractor, the West Seattle Junction Court art piece, and daily hot tub-coffee-walks around the island with Camille.
Gary loved remodeling and fixing his homes (and the homes of his many friends and family) and worked as a painter for his entire life after being given a paintbrush by his father at an early age. He also enjoyed managing the EPM apartments with his kids, traveling, and trying anything once because “Life is full of experiences and they all can’t be good!” Gary was a fun-loving and immensely creative individual, one of the most generous persons you would ever meet, always willing to pick up a tab, and always there to help friends with house projects or whatever else they needed. Gary was most proud of his kids, who will miss him and carry on his inspirational legacy.
A celebration of life will be held at Rainier Golf & Country Club, 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Gary’s ashes will be laid to rest at two of his favorite homes, Lake Washington and Sunset Beach. Donations in memory of Gary can be made to the West Seattle Fraternal Order of Eagles (Auxiliary #2643), where he was proud to be a long-standing member.
(Clip of Ben Dyer’s TPIR appearance, provided to WSB by CBS)
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
When Ben and Heather Dyer decided to travel to southern California around the time of Heather’s mid-January birthday, the idea was to get away from their normal day-to-day routine, enjoy time with family members in the area, and return to Seattle with batteries fully charged from time spent soaking in the famous California sun.
When they returned to their West Seattle home and their regular day-to-day lives, Ben probably shared the typical return-to-work stories of vacation with his fellow firefighters at Seattle Fire Station 26 in South Park. Heather almost certainly told friends about celebrating her birthday while out of town with her husband.
And now that their January 12 visit to the Bob Barker Studio has been aired by CBS, all those friends, family, and coworkers who heard tales of the Dyers’ Southern California trip are learning that a fairly significant event was omitted from those early recountings:
Ben was a contestant on “The Price is Right” – TV’s longest-running game show – but he and Heather were unable to tell anyone that until it aired this past Wednesday, much less could they have revealed he went on a winning streak that ran from contestant’s row all the way through the “Showcase” finale. We didn’t hear about it until one of Ben’s coworkers sent us the tip.
“We were just gobsmacked,” an audibly still-elated Ben told WSB on Thursday, the day after his episode (which can be watched here) aired, allowing him to finally let go of the big secret he’s been keeping for two weeks.
The couple hadn’t planned to attend a taping of the game show as part of their vacation, but once down there decided it might be a fun option for the day before Heather’s birthday.
Two notes today related to homelessness in our area:
ONE NIGHT COUNT: Overnight, a thousand volunteers traversed King County to count how many people were sleeping without shelter. This year’s “One Night Count” total is 4,505 people, 19 percent more than last year. Here’s the breakout of where they were found and in what sleeping situations:
You can also see the chart online here.
HIGHLAND PARK ‘SAFE LOT’ SITE’S FUTURE: Questions remain even after new information was provided at this week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (WSB coverage here) about the future “safe lot” for RV/car campers at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way: 15 vehicles are expected, none likely to be home to more than three people; referrals will be made to people found vehicle-camping in West Seattle and SODO; LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) will be managing the lot; Compass Housing Alliance will be providing services. The city will provide toilets and handwashing facilities, as well as trash pickup, and is looking into getting electricity to the lot.
Questions that remain include the site’s status and post-“safe lot” future. So we checked over the past two days with the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department, which manages city-owned land. Spokesperson Julie Moore explained that the paved lot to be used for the RVs/cars is owned currently by the state (WSDOT), and that the city owns much of the rest of the sprawling parcel, home to the original, unsanctioned encampment that called itself “Nickelsville.” She says the purchase of the paved lot already was in progress. And she provided this aerial image – the future “safe lot,” which she describes as a former park-and-ride, is toward the top left:
As you may know, the City owns the piece of land along the top of the triangle, WSDOT owns the other two corner parcels, and the piece in the middle along W. Marginal Way SW with the large building is owned privately. The City was already working to buy WSDOT’s small corner piece (the former park and ride) to make the City-owned land connect all the way to W. Marginal Way SW, as a means of maximizing the value of our land, with the intent to sell. There is not currently a planned future City use for the property.
City reps at Wednesday’s meeting said the “safe lot” would be in operation for up to a year – six months with the possibility of a six-month extension.
“People living on our streets are living harsh and dreadful lives.”
Minutes before Mayor Murray said those words in his live speech to the city about the homelessness emergency – they had been underscored.
Five people were shot in the unauthorized freewayside encampment known as “The Jungle.” Two did not survive. No one’s been arrested yet.
— Seattle Times Photo (@SeaTimesPhoto) January 27, 2016
While the attack – called “targeted” by Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole – suddenly overshadowed the mayor’s speech, you might want to watch it, with West Seattle taking another spotlight role in the homelessness crisis shortly, as an RV “safe lot” is readied in Highland Park.
(Updated) You can watch it on the Seattle Channel website by going here – or below:
We watched and listened for key points:
“This is what income inequality looks like … We are dealing with an extraordinary crisis. … Emergency responses alone are not the answer. … We must shift the focus to long-term solutions.” He said he will pursue “a new strategy based on outcomes … (to) shift more resources to (keep people) from ever becoming homeless.” Once people do become homeless, “we know very little about the people living in those tents.” Murray vowed to change that. And he said affordable housing is key to the solution; he promised citywide meetings and also a doubled housing levy, saying that “as a city there is nothing more important we can do this year than to pass this levy.”
He repeated throughout the speech that the federal government must do more, that our city already is spending almost $50 million a year and can’t solve it alone. To get the remaining 3,000 people into emergency shelter would require another $50 million, he said.
And finally, he challenged Seattleites to face the problem “without denigrating each other,” decrying how people have vilified and dehumanized homeless people: “In one tent on our streets you might find a family that lost their home in a personal financial crisis. Go to an encampment, you might find someone struggling with addiction. Go to another you might find someone committing crimes to feed their habit. Polarized one side fits all rhetoric we hear from both sides is unhelpful.”
He also said that the claims the city is doing nothing, or that it’s doing the wrong thing by sweeping encampments, are both wrong.
And – chillingly, knowing what had happened just before his speech, he spoke of people dying on the streets, living in “encampments where some have been murdered or raped.”
He mentioned the “safe lots” to be opened for people living in vehicles, one of which will be in West Seattle, on a Highland Park paved lot adjacent to a former unauthorized encampment closed more than two years ago. Tomorrow night, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold will be among city reps at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting to talk about it and to listen; 7 pm at HP Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden).
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: As noted in comments, tonight’s HPAC agenda – including questions for the city – can be seen here.
It started with word of mouth … and became something much more. American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle is publicly thanking everyone who helped out with a recent donation drive:
American Legion Post 160, located at 3618 SW Alaska, would like to thank all of the businesses and individual community members for their support in the recent “care packages for deployed Coast Guard members” drive.
“It started out as a word-of-mouth endeavor that grew far larger than I had envisioned,” stated organizer Kyle Geraghty. “Lots of great items such as: snacks, beef jerky, stationery, and sunscreen were sent overseas to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Post office was extremely helpful when our volunteers arrived with over a dozen heavy boxes. The postal workers were extremely grateful the Legionnaires did not show up two minutes prior to closing time.”
If you are a business or community member that is interested in partnering, volunteering, or making a tax deductible donation for veterans or need individual guidance in navigating the Veteran Support system, contact American Legion Post 160 at firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-932-9696, or visit our website at walegion160.org.
The nation’s largest wartime veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans care and rehabilitation, Americanism and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.
So many knew her as “Nurse Shirley.” Those who knew her as “an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend” are sharing this remembrance and invitation to tomorrow’s celebration of her life:
Shirley Ann Thomas, 6/22/32-1/7/16
Shirley Thomas might say her job here on Earth was done. She’d run all the “Erins” and “Jillys” on her list, and it was now time for her next big adventure.
Born June 22, 1932 to Alaric and Ellen, and the baby of six spirited Belanger siblings, she came into this world with determination and a mischievous glint in her eye. Destined to love hard and laugh often, her feisty nature was the product of good family genes and an inherently good and decent soul.
Married in 1961 to Earl William Thomas, her greatest joy was their two daughters, Erin and Jill. Her pride in her girls was unrivaled. Her love for them, boundless. No matter how big or small the accomplishment, those girls knew they’d made mom proud.
Shirley was never stingy with her love. Her bond with son-in-law Tom was unbreakable. Her relationships with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and everyone in-between were equally strong. As the generations of kids who came through the doors of the Children’s Clinic of West Seattle knew all too well, you didn’t have to be blood related to be worthy of Nurse Shirley’s love and attention. If you were in the vicinity of her kind heart, you were considered family.
Miss Shirley enjoyed holding court, waving her hands through the air as though playing an imaginary piano, while regaling us with her dry wit and oftentimes jaw-dropping stories. But more than that, she gleaned great pleasure in sitting back and taking in the family and friends who had surrounded her for the precious decades she’d blessed us all with. She was the grand dame of her neighborhood, and it was a rare occasion to find her home alone. Kelly and Bob, Darlene and Dan, Julie and Terry, she loved you so! Shirley never had a bad day.
Shirley is survived by her two loving daughters, Erin and Jill, her son-in-law Tom, and so many family members, friends, and adoring fans, there isn’t a newspaper or website large enough to name them all. And while she would admonish us with a swipe of those hands for grieving her passing, there are simply no words to describe our loss. Our comfort is knowing we all carry a piece of her joyous spirit inside us. We see it in the mirror every day, and in the mischievous grins of our children, to be passed on for generations to come.
Please join us in celebrating the life of an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm – followed by a festival of family, friends, and food at her home. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Family and friends of Donald K. Atwood, who died in November at 64, are gathering for an open-house event this Saturday, and sharing this remembrance now:
Don, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, passed away peacefully on November 24th, 2015, in Seattle.
After attending West Seattle High School, Don later went on to work for Frasier Boiler for many years. He would later leave Frasier Boiler to pursue the challenge and reward of owning his own business. A pioneer in the field, Emergency Preparedness Service would go on to meet the disaster-preparedness needs of numerous prominent governmental and private organizations for 26 years. For those who knew Don well, he navigated life with a comical sarcasm and simultaneously was an altogether decent man and fair and honest businessman.
Don, the son of Cliff “Bud” and Penny Atwood, loved the camping trips from his childhood and would later pass this legacy on to his children and subsequently his grandchildren. He always had the heart of an explorer, taking his family on incredible road trips across the Western US and throughout the northern plains. Don was often compelled to visit the roads that were literally “less traveled” to find the forgotten places and muse over the way things might have been for the early settlers of the west.
He married his wife Helga in 1972 and later raised two boys, Neil and Randy. He spent many of his last days thinking about his wife and family and trying to prepare his family for a life without him. In September of 2015, despite his failing health, Don, accompanied by his wife, sons, daughters in-law, and grandchildren would embark on his requiem road trip of sorts to Yellowstone. While there, he seemed to find a closure and began to write his final chapter in life. He was able to share a place he loved with those who loved him most. His short bout with cancer would end soon thereafter, but he left this present world with a late-blooming faith that would comfort him in his final days.
On Saturday, January 23rd, Helga and family will be hosting an open house at Don’s West Seattle home for family and friends to come by anytime between 1 pm and 5 pm. If you would like further information or directions, please contact the family at DonAtwoodMemorial@gmail.com.